CrossFit is the new workout fad.
A fad that has many fanatical followers or intense critics.
There are tons of articles on “Is the Pain Worth the Gain,” “Getting Fit Even If It Kills You,” and so on… Despite these articles, CrossFit is morphing into a sport-like activity where now, there are individuals and teams of athletes who compete in the CrossFit games and many other competitions. All I know, is the athletes have great bodies and are in great shape!
I first heard of CrossFit in college when I did “Crossfit-esque” workouts to prepare for the Physical Fitness Test. However, the name “CrossFit” had not yet developed. After my first military move to Florida, some of my friends and colleagues were into CrossFit; however, my experience with them was that CrossFit was a cult of people who monitored what each other ate, drank and judged if you missed a Saturday morning workout. Since I had been into fitness my whole life, from Division 1 soccer, to aerobics instructor, to marathon runner, to P90X subscriber, I didn’t find it beneficial to pay $150+ to become part of this cult. So, I continued on content with my running/workout DVD routine.
When another military move brought me to New Jersey, I found another group of people who were into CrossFit on base. Skeptically, I decided to try it out for a day. Well, after torn calluses, aching muscles, and disgustingly sweaty clothes (as if I jumped in a pool) I was ABSOLUTELY hooked. My misconception about the cult, caused me to miss out on these great (but hard as hell) workouts. I continued to participate and I saw very immediate results in my body, stamina, strength, and overall confidence. My previous idea of a difficult workout was completely changed by the “constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity.” I can tell you now, I am a believer.
The official website boasts, “CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.” I can attest that this is very true as well. The competition coupled with the encouragement and camaraderie with others that comes with each workout pushes you to all new performance and confidence levels and also provides a venue for great friendships. Speaking of this, I want to add that another misconception is that you have to be at a certain fitness level to start, this is absolutely not true! Each workout has certain methods of scaling, so an individual competes with themselves and is able to see magnificent strides in their performance (and beach bod!)
Additionally, my idea of beauty has changed. I used to run mile after mile aiming for skinnier legs, a flatter stomach, and who knows what else. With this physique, I would obviously look better in clothes. Now, my opinion of beauty is planted in strength, in muscle, in fitness.
In response to the criticism CrossFit has been receiving as of late, I argue that ALL high intensity methods of working out have the potential to cause injury (lifting heavy weights, sports, marathons, and so on). All athletes (even CrossFitters) have to responsibly monitor their bodies and take care of themselves to decrease the risk of injury. In all sports, athletes push themselves and at times, push themselves too far; consequently, presenting the possibility of injury. It is incumbent for coaches and peers to 1. teach good form, 2. enforce proper form, 3. maintain good and frequent mobility and stretching practices, 4. encourage proper eating habits, and 5. monitor athletes through their fitness journey. Despite all of these attempts to preserve healthy athletes, there could still be injury (just like there is injury in professional athletes with trainers paid millions of dollars to keep the players healthy), injury is simply a fact of working out and being active.
My fitness record has not always been perfect. I’ve been in times (i.e. freshman year) where I’ve gained too much weight or I’ve come to slumps where I’m lacking time or motivation. These freckles of times do not change that I am a huge believer in fitness. Not only does it make you healthy but I truly believe in the confidence created through fitness. As a woman, many of us fall down a pit of self-consciousness, a feeling of constant discomfort with our bodies. So, ladies, you can do it! (Another interesting article: http://therxreview.com/8-reasons-women-should-crossfit/)
So, when Trevor and I get to Traverse City, open up our own CrossFit gym, I hope to see you there!!!!!!!!!!!